9.04.2006,5:07 PM
The Ride with Heart
Like an onion each of us is comprised of many layers, peeling them back at our discretion. But rarely do we reveal the core of what we are. Likewise each of us exists in varying time dimensions, a combination of our chronological age and accumulated ages formed from our experiences, memories and expectations. Sometimes I am a sixteen year-old, other times a wizened 80 year-old. I woke up feeling like I was twenty-five again and later felt I was timeless, an accumulation of hundreds of years and thousands of souls, their lives streaming in my veins as they screamed into their world, lived, loved and died. For a few moments I was caught in the great Milky Way of humanity, lost and unable to find solid ground.

It was time to go for a Rideabout.

I peered inside me to find the box containing my heart and saw that it was pried open. The lock had been picked and the lid was a jar. Inside sat my heart in the corner recesses, quivering and shaking. The months since it was pieced back together healed the jagged scars, the wounds now only blemishes.

"What's wrong, Heart?"
"I'm scared and I hurt."

Nodding acknowledgment, I opened the lid and took out my heart. It was time to ride, my Heart and I.

The gentle rain outside did not deter me. Gearing up with appropriate protection and determination, I took my Heart and put it on my sleeve. It's time we have a conversation, Heart and I. No more ignoring the twangs and hints, hiding from each other. If my Path is to have Heart, if I am to be strong, I have to know my Heart. I have to listen. And so I did.

"Where are we going?" asked Heart.
"Does it matter?"

Trusting myself and the bike, we navigated the waterlogged gravel and emerged on the wet grey and black ribbon of road. Snapping the faceshield down, the sounds of tires on water and tarmac were replaced by faint tapping of water drops on my helmet and jacket and rain pants. We became lost in the gear and helmet, the fog and rain a gossamer curtain separating us from the rest of the world around us. And we rode on, turning down roads with no real direction or destination. Just riding and passing reality as though we were in a time capsule and watching another world outside the windows as we sped by. The three of us; the bike, my Heart and I.

The silent conversation with Heart passed as voices in my head, whispers, snippets of poems and confessions from the past, and memories conducting forgotten cantations. All the while processing information from my surroundings: road conditions, traffic, weather, and engine. But riding with no direction or destination in mind.
Just ride.

"You can't hide again, you can't ignore me, not anymore."
"No. You're right."
"Welcome to Humanity. You aren't a robot anymore."
"It isn't easy, and it hurts."
"I know. But with that comes joy and love of life. You can't have one without the other. And it is the pair that makes us strong. And lights our Path."
"And gives it Heart."
"That's right."

I stopped on the side of a road on a barren hilltop and watched horses and cattle graze in the rain. They didn't mind being wet. Into every day, every life, a little rain must fall. Night and light heralds the cycle of the days, warmth and cold the seasons. Birth and death define life and we are all just a passing speck in time. I smiled sadly at my Heart and put it back inside to warm me. It sits outside its box and beats with strength and purpose, with life coursing through our veins; we are alive.

Soon both Heart and I will embark on an adventure, a Rideabout that will rejuvenate us both. And Heart will be there at the surface, filling with wonderment at the marvels we encounter. Our Path, and life, will be good.

On the way home my cheeks were moist, but I know my helmet doesn't leak.

"The truth is that strength lies in the interior of the Warrior: in his
heart, his mind and his spirit. The heart is essential in helping the
intellect to understand the spirit.
" - Miyamoto Musashi, The ‘Book of Five Rings
posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤